AMD’s Kaveri launch is still going on in stages, with only two products currently available for the desktop market – the A10-7700K and the A10-7850K, both of which are quad-core APUs with integrated GCN-based Radeon graphics and unlocked multipliers. They are very good value for money (at least overseas) and when coupled to a socket FM2+ motherboard offer quite a compelling setup for use in small chassis or as the basis of a HTPC. While the company’s budget-line A8-7600 still has to surface, they’ve announced the A10-7800 for those who’d like a A10-class chip for less money.
AMD A10-class APUs with Radeon R7 graphics
|Socket compatibility||Socket FM2+||Socket FM2+||Socket FM2+||Socket FM2/FM2+||Socket FM2+|
|CPU Base clock||3.7GHz||3.5GHz||3.4GHz||4.1GHz||3.1GHz|
|CPU Boost clock||4.0GHz||3.9GHz||3.8GHz||4.4GHz||3.8GHz|
|GPU processor count||512||512||384||384||384|
|GPU Boost clock||720MHz||720MHz||720MHz||844MHz||720MHz|
|Max supported RAM speed||DDR3-2133||DDR3-2133||DDR3-2133||DDR3-2133||DDR3-2133|
|Launch price (US $)||$173||$140-$150||$152||$142||$119|
It’s a very tight market for AMD. What they’ve effectively done with the Kaveri lineup is price themselves into a corner. The A10-7700K is a better proposition over the A10-7800 if you’re aiming for overclockability, but that high TDP isn’t doing it any favours. The lack of GPU stream processors also hurts the chip’s gaming potential, while the A10-7800 hits it with both a reasonable TDP and the full compliment of AMD’s integrated GCN graphics.
That TDP is also going to be the chief reason why you’d even consider the chip in the first place. AMD’s Steamroller architecture is primed for efficiency at low TDPs, so running it in 45W mode won’t impact performance severely, it just changes how aggressive the chip is with downclocking when idle. Running it in 45W mode also helps to lower fan noise and power consumption, two factors to consider when building a APU into something like an HTPC, or an ITX chassis to be mounted on the back of the monitor.
Who would buy the A10-7800? Someone who wanted an integrated system and wants the superior OpenCL and GPU-driven acceleration capabilities, for one. Putting in the A10-7800K with the stock fan, a SSD and a mini-ITX motherboard inside an ITX chassis with a 100W power supply would be a potent little machine, certainly on par with anything Intel can offer at the same price point. It’ll even do really well as a portable LAN box for gaming at 720p, if you still go to those.
However, AMD’s chips really come alive when paired with DDR3-2133 memory and that’s still a little on the expensive side. Just pricing it up on Rebeltech, a A10-7850K combined with 8GB of DDR3-2133 memory and the MSI A88XM-E45 sets you back a staggering R4920, more than enough to build up my R4500 rig from my recent System Builder’s guide.
AMD might have a good product on their hands, but there’s little value in it when the platform is so damned expensive locally. I hope that the A8-7600 can restore a bit of that potential and bring in more competition locally for Intel’s Core i3 family.